Six on Saturday 16-02-2019

It’s been dangerous weather this week. Positively spring like during the day with temperatures reaching 12°C (54°F) and then plummeting to below zero at night. I went up to the allotment at 08:30 Friday morning to await a delivery of manure, and the beds I had uncovered and dug over during the week had a dusting of frost, looking like icing sugar.

Whilst we are experiencing this wide range of temperature, if you are like me you are desperately resisting the desire to plant out! However, I have started to sow seeds (indoors) – peppers, leeks and garlic in cells. My next job, although I know a tad early, is to pot up my Dahlia tubers and keep them in a cold frame until the weather is warm enough to plant out in May.

Ok, after that little update, now for my Six on Saturday. I performed my gardening duties in my daughter and SiL’s garden on Friday and my Six this week is from there.

1. Crocus, crocus and more crocus (what is the plural for lots of crocus?)

I expect there will be lots of crocus on show this Saturday but they are a harbinger of spring and I think we all get a little (if not a lot!) excited when we see them. What is the plural of crocus, croci, crocuses? Both sound a bit ungainly and not quite right.

2. Wallflowers – (Erysimum)

The motley, smelly, half priced bare root wallflowers planted mid-October last year are looking very healthy and a few are even beginning to flower. The daffodils, planted at the same time in the gaps between the wallflowers are also coming up and I’m looking forward to a colourful display.

3. Euphorbia (Ascot Rainbow)

I planted this Euphorbia last summer, it flowered and then went very raggedy, probably because I didn’t prune it. Although a tough plant, I was dubious as to how it was going to get through the winter. It is looking beautiful with the prettiest pink tips that appear in the winter.

4. Hellebores

As with crocus photos, there is a wonderful selection of hellebore pics on gardening blogs at this time of year. I bought a selection of hellebores before the winter and although still small, they are flowering and the ‘Oriental’ is a fabulous dark mauve. They will seed and spread and look better every year.

5. Sweet Williams (Dianthus)

Described as a herbaceous biennial or short lived perennial, I certainly didn’t expect it to be still flowering despite freezing nights. Like the Euphorbia, I should have given it a good haircut last summer but left it to its own devices and it obviously is happy!

6. Spring pots

The collection of pots by the shed at the bottom of the garden are packed with bulbs and looking full of promise. This is where the white crocus (Photo 1 above) live with the pink hyacinths which are flowering. The brown pot of crocus at the back are a bit late, only showing leaves at the moment. More photos to come in a few weeks!

You can find more Six on Saturday’s on The Propagator Blog, please pay him a visit and see what everyone else has to show at the end of the second week of February.

Six on Saturday – 12/01/2019

I told myself, no matter what, in 2019 every week I would find six things for the weekly meme hosted on The Propagator’s Blog. Despite it feeling quite raw outside today and suffering from a cold (again!) I ventured out as far as my patio. There is a lot of sign of life in the containers which is exciting.

1. Pelargonium

Despite looking very dead around the edges, this pretty pelargonium, without a label so remains unnamed, is still flowering. I’m going to brave the cold this afternoon and tidy the dead leaves and take a cutting, just in case. It is right up against the wall so fairly sheltered and I am hoping if I put a fleece bag over it then it’ll get through any really cold winter snap.

2. Crocus

The crocus in all the pots on the patio are slowly popping through but this pot, filled to the brim with crocus bulbs in November is full of the promise of spring.

3. Tree Peony

My precious tree peony dug up from my last garden and brought here in April in a pot, struggled a little during the summer. I wrapped it up in a fleece bag recently opening the top up during the daytime and remembering to close it at night. It is looking extremely healthy and full of buds. I know they don’t like being moved which is why it was not happy this summer but I had hoped to plant it in the flower garden on my allotment, but it does mean moving it again.

ANY ADVICE PLEASE!

4. Patio Rose

This pretty apricot coloured patio rose is tucked away behind larger pots for winter protection. It is full of shoots, so maybe in its own little micro-climate it thinks spring is around the corner. I’ll keep a watch on the weather forecasts and rush out with some bubble wrap if it looks like snow is on the way, which I hope won’t be.

5. Hellebore

There are a couple of hellebores in one of my containers as I don’t believe you can have winter plant displays without them. When I bought them, late November, they were in flower and a very pretty white. They have now all turned green so the contrast with the Osmanthus which, although variegated, is also mainly green with just a few yellow tips.

6. Salvia – Love and Kisses

I planted a Salvia ‘Love and Kisses’ in my daughter’s garden which really took off and looked fabulous. Although some advice says it is hardy, I didn’t want to chance it so took a few cuttings. Without a greenhouse at the moment, I made a little bubble wrap house for it and left it on my patio. Unfortunately a tiny little slug also decided to take up residence and has been nibbling at the leaves, I’ve brought it inside now with the hope the central heating doesn’t upset it too much (it’s by the patio doors). As soon as I have my mini-greenhouse on the allotment I’ll move it. Maybe it might be wiser to leave it outside during the day and bring it in at night. Gardening is full of having to make decisions.

Made it – managed six! As winter continues I think I’ll have to be a bit more abstract with my Six on Saturday. Peep over the garden fence on The Propagator’s Blog to see what other gardeners have chosen for their Six on Saturday.